So I'm a woman, right? I have all the equipment and know how to use it, but sometimes I sort of forget that I'm female. Most of my dearest friends in Scotland have been male, and I've joyously immersed myself in the swearing and smuttiness and talk of sport.
But when I found myself at the BlogHer conference in a big room with 800 other women, all talking about their passions with such contagious enthusiasm, it was a most pleasant slap to the chops. Whoa. I am woman. Hear me roar. Grrrl Power, and all that. I just wanted to climb into platform shoes and a Union Jack frock and strut.
Award for Dodgiest BlogHer Sponsor Gift:
The Nasal Decongestant Spray left on our tables on Saturday lunchtime. Que? Maybe they thought we needed to clear all the excess estrogen from our nasal passages?
Award for Dodgiest BlogHer Snack:
The "Healthy Snack Alternative" provided on Saturday arvo. If you didn't want to eat the hot dogs, pretzels or popcorn you could have a 100 Calorie Curves Chewy Granola Bar. I'd rather scoff down unashamedly unhealthy mustard-drenched cylindrical pig snouts and trotters than eat a bar of self-loathing containing 27 unpronounceable polysyllabic ingredients posing as "health food".
But I do realise that a conference of such spectacular scale needs sponsors. I am enjoying my swanky laptop bag and Butterball Turkey oven glove, yes siree.
. . .
The first session I attended was called "Self Branding And Self Promotion" and I think I should have gone to the panel next door with the sex toy goody bags. I realised I've been clinging on to early Naughties dreamy dreamland notions, where people blogged just because they had a burning need to express themselves, or because they were lonely and wanted to reach across the universe. You know, when people knew all their readers by name. At times the panel had a wee bit of a vibe like, "I've been blogging for two weeks, how come I'm not rich and/or famous yet?"
I know blogging can be big business these days, your blog can be your resume, etc etc. And that is cool, because goodness knows my career has been transformed because of my online babbling. But how about starting off with having something to say? How about taking some time to find your voice and build a body of work and an audience and then start fretting about your lack of revenue/devoted stalkers?
I'm sad I missed the panel called It's Not Your Size But Your Passion That Matters, because I'm so glad to hear that the idea of Blog As Just A Place To Tell A Story And Meet Like-Minded Souls has not been swallowed up by the money thing. Happy days.
. . .
Award for Most S-M-R-T Ladies of BlogHer: There were far too many inspiring, rockin' dames to list them all, but here's a stirling sample –
- Cynthia Samuels and the Sarcastic Journalist on the Media Training Panel, gallantly providing advice for bloggers on what to do when the papers come a callin'.
- Elizabeth Edwards and her gobsmacking intelligence and wisdom during her keynote discussion. I'd vote for her.
- Ariel Meadow Stallings with her sage and hilarious advice on the Blog To Book Panel. Her tips for ego-crushing book signings? "Have your antidepressants in your pocket."
- Our Blessed Conference Founders for kicking off something so deliciously inspiring and energising. I'd sell my granny to go again next year.
- The SJ – I learned so much from her – the joy of being comfortable in your own skin, how to talk to strangers, how to calculate tips. I'm still in awe that I get to be her pal.
(see also: BlogHer photies on my Flickr)